Prop 8 trial: Tuesday

Posted on 27 Jan 2010 at 10:20am

Plaintiff attorney David Boies continued questioning Kenneth Miller, a witness that he has been discrediting as an expert on LGBT issues. Boies hammered Miller on an assertion of his that churches supported gay and lesbian rights. He got Miller to admit that the Mormon Church, the Catholic Church and Evangelical churches do not support LGBT marriage rights and were instrumental in passing Proposition 8.

Miller asserted that the attorney general can check any legal problems in ballot initiatives. Someone from the attorney general’s office appeared in court to say that other than write the ballot language, the attorney general cannot stop a ballot initiative. California Attorney General Jerry Brown has said that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. Boies then asked Miller again if the A.G. can be an effective check on initiatives and Miller said he had no information on the topic.

The next defense witness was David Blankenhorn, the founder and president of the Institute for American Values, who testified on the importance of procreation to marriage.

Plaintiffs attacked Blankenhorn as a marriage expert. He has a degree in labor history and has never taught on marriage-related issues.

Blankenhorn testified that marriage is for childrearing and that “leading scholars” believe that same-sex marriage would lead to higher divorce rates, increase cohabitation rates and weaken heterosexual respect for marriage.

He said that there has already been an erosion of marriage and conceded that heterosexuals have contributed by having more children out of wedlock.

On cross-examination, Blankenhorn admitted that he knew of no studies that showed children of gay and lesbian couples were any worse off than children of straight couples.

Boies read a passage from Blankenhorn’s book that said, “We would be more American on the day we permitted same-sex marriage than we were on the day before.” The witness said he still believed that and said that the children of same-sex couples would be better off if their parents were married. He gave no explanation for the seemingly contradictory views.

Boies will continue questioning him on Wednesday.

— from various news reports

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